What do you dream about being different in your life?
Do you want to be a runner? Wish you owned your own bakery? Had more time for building furniture?
It can be exhilarating to take a step in the direction of your dreams and desires, especially a big step. Like leaving a job. Or selling the house to rent the storefront. Or even just to sign up for a painting class.
It can also be very lonely. Or scary. Overwhelming to the point of paralysis.
I freaking hate that feeling. But every time something big comes up that I really want to do, a little discussion happens inside my head. It’s the talk about doing verses not doing.
We all have this opportunity when we think of an idea or consider taking a risk. We can either not try and wonder what might have been. Or we can give it our best shot and see what we can make.
We tell kids all the time that they can be anything they want to be, do anything they want to do.
We send this message to young people, but do we really believe it for ourselves?
Or do we come up with an idea and before we can really get rolling or dive into it, we give into the litany in our head that tells us all the reasons why we can’t or shouldn’t.
We would have to go back to school.
Stuff like that doesn’t happen to me.
It would take too much time.
It’s too expensive.
I can do that when I lose ten pounds.
What would happen if we embraced our ideas and dreams about what we can be with a little less certainty and conviction? Maybe it doesn’t have to be black or white, all or nothing.
It’s easy to get carried away and think of the really big, movie theater screen size picture. But what if the ideas, dreams, or desires we have can be tried on and tested before we dive in deep?
What if we played dress up?
Once upon a time I came home from work to find my husband on a ladder messing with the ceiling fan and light combo. My immediate response was “what are you doing up there? If you want to be an electrician dress up like one for Halloween. Get down before you hurt yourself or really mess things up.”
How dare I! He is an adult, he knows the risk, and really what was the worst thing that could have happened?
Fallen off the ladder? It was only six feet. And he might have landed on the cushy couch.
Shocked himself? He would have learned not to mess with the wires.
Break it? We could have hired someone to come and fix it.
That day, he was curious and to satisfy that curiosity, he dressed up, or decided to try on, the hat of being an electrician.
Trying new things is how we learn and grow. And shame on me for trying to stifle his curiosity. Was he going to quit his current job and become an electrician? Probably not, but if he had, it would have been because he was totally into it and found something he could sink his teeth into.
If we stop trying new things, we really shortchange ourselves. We do this when we discourage others from trying new things too.
What ideas have you been playing with that you want to try on? What can you dress up as today? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
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Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, and mom who helps busy women use journaling to create more space in their life for being productive without feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit joyfulbydesign.com or saramarchessault.com.